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Responsibility for All Creation

The Salvation Army believes that God created humanity as only one part of a complex natural system. We believe that approaches to environmental issues must be holistic. Salvationists’ attitudes and actions should aim to conserve creation for both present and future generations.

Biblical principles

Genesis 2:5-20 indicates the divine connection God created between humanity and the biosphere*. Just as God does, humanity was designed to enjoy and value the natural world.

As part of this relationship, responsibility and guardianship is given to humanity to care for, cultivate and keep the earth (Genesis 2:15; Psalm8:6). However, many practices of humanity are destroying much of God’s creation (Isaiah 24:5,6).

Practical responses

The Salvation Army calls on people and communities to both reduce the damage which results from human lifestyles, and to make active investments in regeneration.   Salvationists should aim to live in a way that conserves the beauty, diversity and stability of all eco-systems. 

As well as changes in behaviour, there must be large scale and permanent attitude changes.  Such changes include viewing creation not simply as a resource but as a living organism, of which we are custodians and upon which we are reliant. 

The Salvation Army encourages those with power and responsibility in government, industry and commerce to accept an increasing duty of care for all creation.  In New Zealand this concept of guardianship is inherent in the Treaty of Waitangi.

The Salvation Army believes that through stewardship of all creation we are demonstrating our responsibility to all humanity.  We have a duty to use resources in a way that alleviates poverty and injustice in this and future generations.  Humanity must strive for development in ways that are sustainable. 

* Biosphere can be simply defined as all regions of the earth’s surface and atmosphere which are occupied by living organisms.

Approved by International Headquarters
August 2005